Man Utd facing Ousmane Dembele transfer uncertainty as Barcelona slash asking price
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Manchester United appear to be faced with an interesting situation in terms of their interest in Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele. The Frenchman has been linked with a move away from the Nou Camp in the summer transfer window, with his contract set to expire at the end of next season.
Dembele has played an important role for the Catalan giants this season, chipping in with ten goals and four assists from 38 appearances in all competitions.
Barca boss Ronald Koeman is known to be a huge admirer of the winger, previously admitting that he would like the 23-year-old to remain with the club beyond the end of the current campaign.
“I would like Dembele to stay, he is an important player for us,” Koeman told Marca.
“Today, he has shown that with his game and the goal [against Real Valladolid]. The key is that he has physically improved and has been able to play a lot of games in a row.”
However, Dembele’s future in Spain appears to be in limbo, with the Red Devils said to be among the frontrunners for his signature should he become available in the summer months.
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Despite United’s interest, the player’s current stance on the possibility of a move could thwart the Premier League club’s chances of completing the switch this summer.
Barca chiefs appear resigned to losing their man and will make a desperate attempt to cash in by entertaining bids in the region of £50million, according to Spanish outlet Sport.
Dembele was United’s priority target last summer and the Red Devils worked hard to push through a deal, but were unable to meet Barca’s hefty nine-figure price tag.
With the World Cup winner now available for a cut-price fee, it remains to be seen whether United will launch a fresh pursuit in the coming months.
However, the report also claims that although Barca are keen to sell Dembele, the player himself would prefer to stay at the club until the expiry of his contract, at which point he would seek to leave on a free transfer.
Even if United see a bid accepted, they would still need to agree personal terms with the former Borussia Dortmund man, and if he is not prepared to move this summer they could be forced to turn to their other targets.
Solskjaer is eager to sign a top-class winger ahead of a renewed Premier League title bid next season, but a new striker and a central defender are believed to be the club’s main priorities.
Dembele was asked to comment on his future earlier this month, but did little to quash the ongoing speculation.
He revealed that negotiations over a new deal with Barca are yet to begin and admitted that he is not too familiar with new club president Joan Laporta, who was elected back in March.
“My future? I still have a year left on my contract,” he told reporters.
“There have been no discussions with the club, I’m happy and I feel good.
“A new president has arrived and I don’t really know him, but he is very close to the players. We’ll see how it goes.”
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